Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world and it has an extremely weak health system.

  • The average life expectancy is just 51 years.
  • One in every 14 women to go into labour dies.
  • A third of all children under five are malnourished.
  • In some regions Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) affects almost 100% of women.

Somalia has been coping with civil war since 1991 when the government collapsed and much of the country’s infrastructure, including health services, fell apart.

Health Poverty Action is working in Somaliland, a self-declared autonomous region of Somalia. Somaliland declared independence after the overthrow of Somali military dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

The ongoing conflict in south and central Somalia has caused thousands of people to travel north to Somaliland and settle in to informal settlements in urban areas like Hargeisa in Maroodi Jeex. These settlements lack essential infrastructure such as water, sanitation and health services, which leads to poverty and ill health.

Communities that live in remote regions of Somaliland often experience worse health because of less access to health services and higher poverty levels.

Health Poverty Action is working with internally displaced peoples and pastoralist communities in Somaliland to strengthen them in their struggle for health.

Poverty in Somalia does not exist in a vacuum; it is largely caused by a global unequal distribution of power and wealth.

Our work in Somaliland is supported by the European Union, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the United Nation’s World Food Programme.


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